Daily Tax Update - April 2, 2008

SENATE REACHES AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE ON HOUSING STIMULUS PACKAGE:  Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that he has reached an agreement with Republicans on a “robust” stimulus package. Reid said, “We have an agreement in principle as to what we are going to go to the floor on. I think we are moving forward. I think this is good news for the American people. I'm confident we can process this fairly rapidly.”

  • The package is expected to contain language raising the cap on mortgage revenue bonds so housing finance agencies could refinance troubled home loans; and also allow companies to write off recent losses over a longer period of time so they could claim refunds of taxes paid in previous, profitable years. It also is expected to contain a provision that would provide a $15,000 tax credit to new homeowners for purchases of certain properties.

FINANCE COMMITTEE CONTINUES REVIEW OF ESTATE TAX REFORM OPTIONS:  On April 3, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing to continue the Committee’s review of the current estate tax and gift tax systems. The Committee will consider proposals to simplify estate and gift taxes by unifying exemption amounts. Estate tax deferral for small businesses and joint estate tax exemptions for married couples will also be discussed.

TAX BILLS INTRODUCED APRIL 1ST:
H.R.5670: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a Federal income tax credit for certain home purchases.
Sponsor: Rep Fossella, Vito [NY-13] (introduced 4/1/2008)      Cosponsors (1)

S.2792: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to restore the deduction for the travel expenses of a taxpayer's spouse who accompanies the taxpayer on business travel.
Sponsor: Sen Graham, Lindsey [SC] (introduced 4/1/2008)      Cosponsors (2)

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE - CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE:
As provided for in Treasury regulations, advice (if any) relating to federal taxes that is contained in this communication (including attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any plan or arrangement addressed herein.

STEPTOE & JOHNSON LLP - TAX PRACTICE
Steptoe & Johnson LLP has one of the largest and most diverse law firm tax practices in the country. The practice covers the entire spectrum of federal taxation, including representation of businesses before the Congress, Treasury and the national office of the IRS; transactional planning for domestic and multinational corporations; complex audit and controversy work for corporations and other business interests contesting IRS adjustments; litigation before the Tax Court, Court of Federal Claims, district courts, courts of appeals and the Supreme Court. The firm's tax practice also encompasses all aspects of employee benefits (ERISA), executive compensation, tax-exempt organizations and charitable giving. Steptoe has an extensive state and local tax practice, representing an array of business clients on complex sales and use tax, corporate income tax and property tax matters, both advising those clients and handling audits, administrative appeals, and litigation for them. Read more information on Steptoe's tax practice.